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Dead Men Tell No Tales E. W. Hornung

Chapter XIX My Great Hour

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"Go, both of you!" I whispered hoarsely. "Now - while you can - and I can let you. Now! Now!"

Still Rattray hung back.

I saw him glancing wistfully at my great revolver lying on the table under the lamp. I thrust it upon him, and pushed him towards the door.

"You go first. She shall follow. You will not grudge me one last word? Yes, I will take your hand. If you escape - be good to her!"

He was gone. Without, there was a voice still calling me; but now it sounded overhead.

"Good-by, Eva, I said. "You have not a moment to lose."

Yet those divine eyes lingered on my ugliness.

"You are in a very great hurry," said she, in the sharp little voice of her bitter moments.

"You love him; that is enough."

"And you, too!" she cried. "And you, too!"

And her pure, warm arms were round my neck; another instant, and she would have kissed me, she! I know it. I knew it then. But it was more than I would bear. As a brother! I had heard that tale before. Back I stepped again, all the man in me rebelling.

"That's impossible," said I rudely.

"It isn't. It's true. I do love you - for this!"

God knows how I looked!

"And I mayn't say good-by to you," she whispered. "And - and I love you - for that!"

"Then you had better choose between us," said I.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales
E. W. Hornung

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